Eastwood Hanley Revisited

This post follows on from : Eastwood Hanley

EH TerracingI have unearthed some more information regarding defunct club, Eastwood Hanley.  Martin Gooday has helped with his information. He wrote to me: 

I read your blog on Eastwood Hanley which I found very interesting. I’m not a groundhopper, but I used to live in North Staffs and have long regretted never going to watch Eastwood Hanley, I thought I’d go and see if anything was left and visited the ground on 20 February 2007.

So he visited their former home, all the way up from his home somewhere in Surrey, I believe, and very kindly sent me his photos, with his permission to publish them. His photos were excellent and show the old ground in much better light than my pictures from my previous post. He also supplied some nuggets of information regarding the club, that I didn’t know and couldn’t find on the web.
One thing he cleared up, that had me puzzled, was that they spent their last few seasons groundsharing; first with Kidsgrove Athletic at the Stan Brown Stadium, and then for the last couple of seasons at the Lyme Valley Stadium, home of Newcastle Town. It explains why when I first visited in 1995, the ground was derelict, but they didn’t actually fold until 1997. Martin explained that their ground was, sadly, subject to frequent vandalism, probably from being in such a secluded area. It is a similar story to that of another former non-league side of some repute, South Liverpool, whose ground suffered the same problems with frequent vandalism.EH Badge

This was the badge of Eastwood Hanley. When Martin came to visit he also took some pictures of the regeneration taking place in South Hanley, the area of the old Eastwood works, and would have been the prime catchment area for fans. (I used to live there myself above a chip shop!) It is so poignant that the only thing still standing south of the canal is two bottle ovens, eerily similar looking to the two in the team’s badge. These bottle ovens are now listed buildings which is why the builders are having to work round them. It is a shame they weren’t listed earlier, as sadly, lots were knocked down. They are such an unusual and unique backdrop to the potteries. There are still around 70 left, but you have to look for them now. They will certainly provide an architectural and historical focal point to the new canal-side living apartments and cycle paths that are planned for the area.

In old pictures of the potteries, in the fifties and earlier, the skyline was awash with these bottle ovens, pouring out black smoke into a funereal sky. It looked like something out of an HG Wells novel.

Kilns

It’s just a shame football teams can’t be listed, like buildings.

Hanley Kilns

Here are some pictures taken of the ground.

This is behind the East Goal.

Behind East Goal

This is behind the North Terrace

Behind the North Terrace

This is what’s left of the North Terrace

The North Terrace

This is the West Side collapsed cover from two different angles.

Collapsed West Side 1

Collapsed West Side 2

Martin also found Eastwood Hanley’s entry in the non-league directory of 1990. It confirms that there was seating for 200, covered accommodation for 2,500 and a capacity of 5,000. It also cites their inception as 1946, rather than the 1965 I was led to believe from their entry on the web’s non-league directory.

Entry in NLD

I have, since my last visit managed to pick up one of their programs; a Northern League match against Fleetwood. Martin now has 3 in his collection. One of which is below. Their programs certainly went for vibrant colours! This is in the same style as the one I have – I think it looks excellent.

Programme

 Here is another. If anything, even more vibrant!

Programme 2

Another reader, and author of the Pie & Mushy Peas site, Simple Pieman remembers seeing a good Eastwood Hanley side play Rushden & Diamonds in an FA Cup match, and notes the irony of the rise of the home side to the league in comparison to the demise of the away side. As mentioned in the original post Eastwood Hanley played at a high level for a number of seasons, and it’s a shame they couldn’t sustain their ground or their status in the non-league pyramid. With all the regeneration work in the area and the disillusionment at the high prices creeping down into the Championship and League One, to watch Stoke Ciy and Port Vale, they would probably have the ability to draw substantial crowds.

I may well approach whoever’s in charge of the canalside developent and see if they can’t do something with Trentmill Road. I’ll bribe them with a promise of a lifelong season ticket for when I get them back into the Unibond!

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93 Responses to Eastwood Hanley Revisited

  1. Rich (from Stafford) says:

    I’m a non-League fan and watched Eastwood Hanley reguarly from 1983 to about 1990. Unfortunately, I never took any photos. I have probably around 60-70 programmes in my loft. I shall dig them out have a read and post more details about the club hopefully soon.

  2. thegroundhog says:

    Rich,
    That’s excellent! It would be really interesting to know what the ground was like, their average crowds, any characters that you used to bump into etc? You’re the first person I’ve heard from who has been to Eastwood Hanley home games. Any details or anecdotes you can dig out would be really appreciated.
    I’ll look forward to an email or reply
    Thanks
    David

  3. Rich (from Stafford) says:

    David,
    Checked last night, its actually 49 programmes. Will post more detail about the club soon but its finding the time to do so! Briefly, it seemed a club with strong and supportive committee, that over cam low attendances of perhaps no more than 40-70 at best for NWC games. In early eighties it was pay gateman on access road, with breeze block turnstiles built later. Larger social club opened about 1983/84, portacabin used for tea, pies etc. I do remember them doing a an excellent bacon/egg sandwich!
    Rich

  4. thegroundhog says:

    Rich,
    Thank you so much for getting in touch again. Thanks for your comment and I’d love to hear more details about it. It surprises me a little that their crowds were so low. It would be a perfect club now for the new residents of the canalside apartments!

    David

  5. Pingback: Eastwood Hanley (1946-1997) « the groundhog

  6. i went to see eastwood loads of times there was an excelent programme shop and a brilliiant social club i remember when they played tamworth in the fa vase the looks on the 3 coachloads of fans when they turned up at trentmill road not exactly wembley i helped to concrete the terraces in the main stand there was an excelent group of people who wanted to take the club forward if they brought that club back i would certainly go again

  7. Steve Goldstraw says:

    Hi there, I have loads of memories of Eastwood Hanley FC to share. I discovered them in the late 70′s “by accident” when as teenagers we wandered along the railway track which bordered the far side of the ground to discover the source of loud shouting, a tidy football ground with two teams playing with more passion than our local sides Port Vale & Stoke City could ever offer. I soon got the bug and returned the following game. The ground then had covered standing behind one goal, the James & Tatton end, a small covered standing area just over the halfway line and some old terracing built on ash adjacent to this stand. The dressing rooms were built into a wooden fronted building with hard standing in front, the clubhouse was small and homely (later extended) and the pie and tea bar was built into another wooden building which fronted the pitch. One end and one side were completely open with just the barriers and a hard standing area.There were quite a few characters including a great old chap named Hiram who would stand behind one goal and with his walking stick raised above his head with two hands and shout ” Come on The Golden Boys”. Crowd wise it could range from between 30 to 70 for standard league games. I produced the programme for quite a few games in the 1979-1980 season (and still have a few spare for anyone interested). I produced 100 for a home league game at Easter 1980 against Accrington Stanley and ran out way before kick off! I also travelled to many away grounds and would say that Trentmill Road was equal to most I visited. Lots of changes happended in the early 80′s to comply with HFS Loans League standards with the building of new cover to the far side and the addition of floodlights (bought from Arbroath really cheap and collected on a lorry by eager committee members!).
    I certainly would be there if Eastwood could rise once again and be a force on the non-league pyramid.Come on lottery win! Come on you Golden Boys!!

  8. Steve Goldstraw says:

    Hi, forgot to mention that a bunch of my mates and me spent most of our 1979 school summer holidays painting the stand pillars, crush barriers and rails and generally tidying and helping where needed to get the ground ready for the coming season. I think the chap in charge was another great Eastwood character,Albert Bailey.Such a shame that just over ten years later the next generation of school kids spent their free time vandalising the clubhouse, flooding the dressing rooms and just generally slowly killing off a great, friendly local club!

  9. thegroundhog says:

    Thanks for the memories, Kevin and Steve.
    It is great to hear that you both helped out with the ground! I love the fact that the floodlights were purchased from Arbroath, too. It is a shame about the vandalism – such lack of respect is difficult to comprehend.
    So are you too coming in with investments for when they rise again! It would be great to see.
    So their nickname was the Golden Boys? What is the origin of that?

  10. Steve Goldstraw says:

    Hi,yes i’ll be there come the day we can get Eastwood Hanley back on the non-league map. Some investment from like minded people and you never know although locally we have Norton United, Stone Dominoes & Leek CSOB who have all climbed on to the North West Counties League ladder since Eastwood’s demise, all competing for support etc. Alsager Town went from Sunday football back up to Unibond level with loads of effort, investment and a good committee so you never know.
    The Golden Boys wasn’t Eastwood’s official nickname, more a term of endearment for the older fans I seem to remember. According to their earlier programmes I believe their official nickname was The Blues. Their early colours were white shirts, blue shorts and red socks, later changing to all royal blue. I know once they left Trentmill Road and they played at Kidsgrove then Newcastle Town that they appeared in different strips including red & black striped shirts once.
    Hope this helps / is informative. If you need anything more please let me know

  11. part time Eastwood fan says:

    Reading this stirred some memories for me. I was a visitor to Trentmill Road whilst at the then North Staffordshire Polytechnic in the late 80′s. This was in the tail end of their Northern Premier League days. I usually frequented midweek matches as I was off seeing my main team, Chester, at weekends. I well remember a FA Vase reply against Heanor Town I think it was, it was absolutely freezing that night!
    I was lucky enough to seem them in the FA Vase 5th round that year against Tamworth in front of what must have been 800 or so people.
    I also regularly returned after I’d left Stoke, once seeing a 3rd Round qualifying FA Cup game against Stalybridge. The place certainly was full of characters and was much more fun than visiting either Stoke or Port Vale like most of my fellow students did. It was a real shame they folded, if they ever return, I’ll be happy to cheer them on again!

  12. thegroundhog says:

    Hi James,
    Thanks for the comment. It’s interesting to hear from people who used to watch them. The FA Vase 5th Round tie against Tamworth sounded especially good. It is a shame they folded, as the other local teams seem to have gone from strength to strength, like Norton, Meir KA and Eccleshall.
    I’ll put you down for a directorship for when I’ve secured their position back in the NWCL!
    I see you’re a Chester fan. Did you see the 7-1 defeat at home to my team, Brighton? That was surreal – it was February and we hadn’t scored an away goal that year. Bobby Zamora scored a hat-trick on loan from Bristol Rovers, who then released him for £100,000. One of the best games ever!

  13. Ex Eastwood player says:

    Reading these posts certainly brings back some good memories. I grew up as a boy wasthing Eastwood from the mid 80s and went on to play for them in the early 90s. Yes I remember Hiram and president Paul Goal who was of indian descent (very unusual at that time). There were so many characters and volanteers giving up their own time to help. For years the club had to put up with vandalism mainly from juveniles (2 families I recall) with no help whatsoever from the local police who knew who they were but refused to act. This was the only reason they folded which in my opinion was a crying shame. Trentmill road was a great venue owned then by the coalboard (I do not know who owns the ground now). I remember one chairman telling a story that the ground was offered for sale to his predecessor for £750.00 which was an absolute bargain, but he did not wish to buy. the then chairman made several enquiries but the coalboard would not sell at that time. Could you imagine owning that site today and its value?

    The other local clubs that have gone from strength to strength were not a patch on Eastwood then whose main rivals at the time were Leek Town and during the later years Newcastle Town.

    The pitch was as good as most being very flat and of good proportions. The carpark was of generous size albeit with many pot holes to damage your car. Overall the site had great potential for development and was in a prime location.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that someone some day manages to resurrect this characterful club and would enjoy taking my son to games there.

  14. thegroundhog says:

    Ex Eastwood player,
    It’s fantastic to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. The more I read about people’s experiences of EH the better it sounds. What a shame about the vandalism – I suppose with it being secluded it was easy to get away with.
    It IS in a prime location and with the new canalside developments going on over the road would’ve been an ideal club for the residents there. It really is crying out for someone to take it on, as the pitch and the acreage of land is still there. I just wish I was well off enough not to work; then I would look seriously into it and contact the FA and football league for loans and local companies for sponsorship. One day!
    It’s good to hear from an ex-player – I bet you played on a few obscure non-league grounds in the early 90s. Perfect way to groundhop I suppose!
    Cheers again.

  15. John Everton says:

    Ex referees have happy memories, too! I whistled there many times in my North West Counties’ League days. One of many hospitable clubs, run by volunteers.

  16. thegroundhog says:

    John,
    Great to hear from someone who reffed there! I think I have the full set almost! I’ve had a fan and a player, now a ref. You all seem to have positive memories of Eastwood H. I just need an ex-manager now – that’d be nice!

  17. Alan Key says:

    I’m not an ex-manager, but I am the chairman who made desperate attempts to buy the ground from the coal board. If I had been successful, who knows? I had retired as chairman when the site was vacated, which was indeed due to continued vandalism causing the insurance companies to withdraw cover.

    • kevin bates says:

      hello alan its me kevin bates i remember you from my playing days with your son anthony,how is he anyway.

  18. thegroundhog says:

    Alan,
    Thanks for getting in touch. It’s a shame nothing could be done for the club but who knows what may happen in the future?
    David

  19. Eastwood No 1 1993-1997! says:

    Reading these comments brings back memories from the final years of Eastwood. I played in the Rushden game as mentioned by Simple Pieman and remember vividly playing in front of nearly 2000 people verus the usual 50 or so every other week. This was quite a shock but certainly a major highlight during my spell with the club. We also beat Rushden the previous season in the FA Vase (i think) at home with virtually the same squad and I believe the side would have gone from strength to strength if such things as lottery grants etc where succesful. Guess we werent far enough South to justify selection!!!

  20. Dave Cooper says:

    I was one of those three coachloads of Tamworth fans that turned up in our ultimately glorious Vase run in 1988/89. Loved the ground to be honest although some of our more recent band-wagon jumpers were a bit bemused!
    We hadn’t long come up from the West Midlands League so the faithful had been to places like Armitage, GKN Sankey and Tividale, so Trentmill Road was a home from home!
    We were made so welcome that day as well, we almost felt sorry for winning…..almost!

  21. thegroundhog says:

    Dave,
    Thanks for the comment. There’s quite a few people now who have very good memories of Trentmill Road – it’s good to hear. It’ll all be good evidence when we’re applying for grants to rebuild the team and ground!!

  22. john barratt says:

    I visited the old ground on 19-05-2008, for the first time in 25 or so years what a shame, i went following Leek Town, i think the game finished 0-0 but not sure,, it really did upset me to see it in its current state.

    • mark clarke says:

      john i am just about to revisit the ground today.i grew up in joiners square my dad peter played for eastwood in the 60,s so did my uncle john and my gram supplied the oranges at half time.and yes very happy saturday afternoons were had.

      regards mark

  23. thegroundhog says:

    John,
    Thanks for your comment. It is indeed a shame. How are you fixed for money?! Let’s raise some cash to resurrect them!

  24. Steve Goldstraw says:

    It seems like there are still people with a genuine interest in resurrecting this great club. I visited Trentmill Road just last weekend to see the wreckage of our once great ground. It looks like the pitch has been cut but I am unsure who may be playing on it (maybe a Sunday league team) or even owns the site these days. The old stand still looks out forlornly across the pitch, the perimeters are overgrown and there is broken glass, rusting steel and weeds everywhere. I have some photos I can try to upload and share with all. I also have a number of programmes from an Eastwood Hanley Cheshire League fixture from 1980 against Accrington Stanley, another club that folded, went out of business, lost their ground and was resurrected by a committee of genuine like-minded fans to play in Lancashire county football and now to be found playing in the Football League. Maybe the dream is not too far fetched. I am sure that if there are enough people “up for it” then an Eastwood Hanley team could once again grace non-league pyramid football, maybe starting at the bottom division of the Staffs Senior League. A pitch, a team and funds could be found if there were enough like minded people to come forward. What do you think? Any takers? A small feature in the local Sentinel newpaper may be the way forward.

  25. Mark Bradbury says:

    This ground was home to many a junior football cup finals. Alot of City Schoolboy games were played there during the mid eighties when Northwood Stadium was being redeveloped into the Athletics Track. I have fond memories of playing at the ground during this time.

  26. Longton Lad says:

    This website is brilliant. I can remember when I accidently stumbled across this ground when I got lost walking home from Hanley when I was about 16 years old and I always wondered what happened here.

    I play in the North West Counties division now and think its very interesting to find out the history of this ground. Such a pitty for the local area that there is not a Unibond Standard club still playing here.

    I know that the pitch is still used for a sunday pub team, the Trent Tavern I think?? who play in the coors league division 1 or 2 I think?

    There is definitely a ghostly feel to the place. It would be brillaint if it was renovated and used again. The Staffordshire County Senior League are always looking for teams with good facilities to join there league, would be a good start if someone came in with some cash or even Local Government could help, just an idea??

    But thanks for posting this article, I found it really interesting.

  27. thegroundhog says:

    Longton Lad,

    Thanks for both your comments. They are most welcome! There have been so many nice things said about Eastwood Hanley, it has prompted me to start the ball rolling to get them resurrected. Actually, Steve Goldstraw’s comments (2 up from here)were the catalyst. You mention Local Government – well that’s where I’m going to start!
    By sheer coincidence you have answered one of the questions I put to the council, regarding who uses the pitch now, so thanks!
    At first I want to generate some support for the idea like a petition and then present a case to the Project Manager of the regeneration of the Hanley East/West precinct, which just about encompasses Trentmill Road, I would imagine.
    I feel it’s worth a shot, even if it just raises the profile of Eastwood Hanley. Wouldn’t it make a change to have a new club that wasn’t just another AFC ____ formed by disgruntled fans?

  28. thegroundhog says:

    Mark,
    Thanks for your comments. Great to hear from someone else who played there.

  29. Longton Lad says:

    Good Luck with the resurrection, keep us informed with the progress on the website.

  30. steve eccleston says:

    hi i grew up watching eastwood hanley home and away all over the country.my father was chairman and is now commercial manager at newcastle town and would like to speak to you to offer any information you need to fill in the gaps that you have of this wonderful club.i still wonder now where we would be in the pyramid ladder if it was not for the vandals.

  31. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your comment. I’d be glad to hear from your Dad to get more information about the club – thanks for the offer. It’d be great to get them re-formed!

  32. Ian Wheaton says:

    Hi,

    I just happened to stumble across your website tonight and had a great time reviewing old grounds I have played on. I was a part of the Eastwood Hanley team and included many of het individuals in your programme. Their designs were great and it was Kevin Roche who recruited me from Nantwich Town. Jimmy Wallace was number 2 and Alan Key was the Chairman. Great times. couple of years later, Darren Twigg and I left to join Steve Norris and Neil Baker at Leek Town.

    It would be great to get the team up and running again.

    I live in Texas, USA but keep up with the fortunes of all my previous clubs.

    Ian.

  33. thegroundhog says:

    Ian,

    Thanks for the comment; I’m glad it brought back some good memories! Now you live in Texas is there any chance of you striking oil and bankrolling the club?

  34. Chris Plant says:

    I cannot believe that this site exists. I thought that when our club vanished, that it would die and be largely forgotten. As I write, I have tears in my eyes!! For a bloke of 52, you can probably guess what the club meant to me. My Dad, (one of the area’s most respected referee’s – Roy Plant), used to take me to the ground at Berryhill, when I was about 5 years old. My memories are very vivid over the period from the early 60′s to the end of the Trentmill Road era. My programme stash number many thousands. It was good to read messages from the Wheatman – Ian Wheaton and the man in black, John Everton. I remember him and having to pay him for his services, on many occasion. Sorry to all other people who have been promised tickets for the resurection etc., but mine must have number 1 printed on it. I would accept number 2 if number 1 went to my uncle Graham Plant, kitman, medic etc, etc, etc. Incidentaly, this has been very much a family affair as my Grandad, Jim Plant gave his name to the Player of the Year award, after his death.
    To the Tamworth fans – I remember that game! Did you know though Tamworth were the first West Midlands League team to beat us at Trentmill Road when we were elected to that league! One week later we, although we didn’t know it at the time, became the only club to take a draw out of Kidderminster Harriers at their own ground, that year.
    To the No 1. If you are Bob Aston or Richard Johnson or any other keeper of that era, please drop me a line.
    Hi Alan Key, hope the weather is good over there! (its lousy here).

    • mark clarke says:

      hello chris.this is strange i was only looking around eastwood middle school yesterday thinking about the local people julie sat next to me at lunchtime.
      i am off work today and my mission is joiners square and yes that includes the ground.
      i think you may be aware of the clarkes my father was peter

      best regards

      mc

  35. Chris Plant says:

    Hi Again,
    Have had to look again at some of the comments and observations written above. There are a few points which I can update.
    With regard to the programmes. The coloured cover versions, were only used in later years. This was largely due to Geoff Eccleston and his many contacts. People actually wanted to buy one on matchdays! Prior to the coloured covers being introduced, the entire programme was first printed on a basic gestetner printer, before copy was gathered and taken to the local Gestetner offices in Westmill Street, Hanley.
    The badge shown above, was introduced in the mid seventies. The artist was one of my old school mates, Chris Sadler, whose brief was to draw something for me which was modern and vibrant. This design was then used on club ties and polo shirts and sweatshirts. Somewhere in my archives, I have a copy of the original club badge, which was based around the Staffordshire knot.
    The social club, in its various forms, started out life as a post war pre-fab and was originally standing in the area where the Hanley Road entrance to the Central Forest Park is today.
    According to my records, which were submitted after each match to the league, attendances were very up and down. If a club such as Bacup came, most of our locals had never heard of the place and consequently didn’t turn up. However, if we played Leek or Nantwich or say Fleetwood, the crowd was always up into decent 3 figures.
    The access road was always a problem, although considerable effort was put into making it better each close season. The principal issue was where the entrance should be sited. To this day, there are studs in the existing Trentmill Road, where the local council were marking out the line for the proposed link from Hanley to Eaton Park. Of course, this never went much further, but our plans were always thwarted by the council plans!
    According to the club constitution, the word Hanley would only be used whenever the team played out of the area – or if it were to more into a less local league, the word Hanley would appear more permanently, but in brackets. Because we were travelling more and more, people outside the area referred to us as Eastwood Hanley and the brackets almost dissappeared. This was quite helpful when we first crossed swords with Eastwood Town of Nottingham!!
    The amount of local leagues and cup competitions who applied to use the ground for their cup finals etc., was at times embarrasing! There were times when we had committed to a final, only to find that our own league wanted to us to play on the same day. It was not unknown for 2 matches to take place on the same day! Sadly many finals had to be rejected, at times, as our own fixtures had piled up through bad winters.
    The club was reformed in 1946 by a group of ‘local lads’. One name which comes to mind is Martin Harrigan. Not sure what his part was, but I do know that the other families involved and very much the driving force were the Mansfields and the Matthews. The club raised its money from a very successful weekly Tote draw, which took place each Tuesday at first and for many years at the Village Tavern pub, opposite the top of Austin Street, in Leek Road known as Polly Stubbs’. (It is still there today. It is now run by Ian Miller). In later years, the draw moved to the Joiner Square community hall, where it shared with old time dancers!! Gerald Mansfield was a full time Manager and General Manager of the club for many years. Two of his sisters, Jessie and the late Alma, were responsible for the hot pies and gallons of tea and Camp coffee which was served there, long before the bar opened in the ‘tea hut’.
    Hiran Jones and one of the letters quite rightly observed, was the Golden Boy. It was custom and practice for him to dip underneath the barrier surrounding the pitch, lift his arms towards the sky and then bring them down to the ground to salute each goal scored by and Eastwood player. I am sure that John Everton and most of his colleagues didn’t mind, but I am equally certain that today this would not be allowed!!
    With regards to a nickname. Golden Boys was used – usually only by Hiram and some supporters of clubs well outside the area, and The Blues did appear on some programmes, even The Potters was occasionally used, although I believe that there might be another club which uses this?? The fact is, there was never really a club nickname in all of its years.
    Club colours. Again the colours mentioned are all correct. Going back into the 60′s, tangerine was used home and away – maybe this is where the golden boys came from? Other kits were all red, all blue, all white, white tops with a blue band and blue shorts…………………….. and all green – which meant all of the paintwork around the ground had to be changed!! This was thanks to the new manager of the club at that time – Alan Philpott. It didn’t last too long thankfully!
    Chris

  36. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve responded to you direct, but in case you didn’t get it, thanks for your comments. I’m really glad this site has given you a good trip down memory lane. I’d love to get Eastwood Hanley back up and running again, and all the comments that I’ve had are making me seriously consider doing something.

  37. Steve Goldstraw says:

    It’s so good to hear Chris Plant’s comments on this site. I well remember Chris standing up the top corner of the covered terrace shouting ‘come on Eastwood!’I also remember him phoning through the result and the match report from the phone in the clubhouse corridor at 4:50pm. Great days. Chris was one of the people that inspired me to do my short run of programmes all those years ago, using the old West Midland League programme covers Chris very kindly provided. Interestingly I recall making a great big batch for the home game against Accrington Stanley. Just seen them recently turn over my club Port Vale so they’ve made great strides since reforming in the late seventies. I saw Graham ‘Chiefy’ Plant only yesterday carrying out his duties at Kidsgrove Athletic so it’s a great coincidence to see that Chris has found this excellent website.It’s nice to know that there are people with Eastwood Hanley in their blood that have responded. Tickets 1 to 3 for the first game have your names already printed!!
    Dave, sorry I have not been in touch since June. Been busy with work, family and exams etc. It’s exciting to know that all these ex-Eastwood people have read your brilliant webpages. Come on you Golden Boys!

  38. thegroundhog says:

    Steve,

    Don’t worry about not getting in touch. I’ve been busy myself. Thanks for your comments. I’m glad these pages have given a few people some great memories. Chris has given me some excellent advice on the state of the ground as it is, and what it would entail to resurrect the club. It’s a tall order! I think it would have to start with a meeting of interested individuals, somewhere like a pub, to discuss plans of how to go about it and in what order. If we figured it wasn’t possible then we’ve only lost a few pints and a good trip down memory lane!

  39. Steve Goldstraw says:

    Dear All, a meeting of interested parties would be good. What’s to lose? Like you say, a few pints and loads of memories sounds great, anything that can be done to discuss a possible resurrection is a bonus. We have at least three or four people who’d come along, maybe more. You never know with these kind of things who may turn up. Invitations are open to any local non-league fan(s) with a keen interest in a Hanley based non-league club or anyone that may fancy investing (money and / or time) in the future of Hanley based youngsters.
    The Village Tavern, Botts Arms or any local pub as a venue may also show some interest in hearing what we have to discuss. Any ideas on a date?

  40. thegroundhog says:

    Steve,
    I’d be up for that. I don’t think that many of the people who have commented so far would come back to look at this post, so maybe I could gather as many email addresses as I have and do an invite to all of them. I’m sure there would be a few interested. Even if we just agreed to do one thing a month each it would be a start. I need to find out who owns the land first and see what the situation is with that. If you know anyone else who’d be interested, or have any contacts that you ,use let me know and we’ll try and get a get-together organised.

    Cheers

    David

  41. Brian Jones says:

    Hi again

    I was the first person to comment on the site after my accidental finding of pictures of Trentmill Road. As fortune would have it I surfed back to the site and decided to update myself on the pictures.
    I cant believe all the responses on here and the level of interest in a club long gone. The possibility of the club being re formed due to the simple existence of a blog is magical and I urge all interested parties to keep going and realise the dream. All the best of luck to everybody that is involved.
    Dont forget though – dont overstep yourselves and most definitely build stronger and higher fences!!

  42. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for your comment. I would love to realise the dream and it seems there’s others out there who do. I am serious in getting a few of us together to discuss plans of how to do it. It’d be great to meet at the Village Tavern one night. The first few things would be to contact Severn Water and find out who exactly owns the land there now. If any of you reading this know anyone else who’d be interested let me know, or if you know any of the other respondees. I think with a few of us and some connections in the area it could be a possibility – no harm trying.

  43. Longton Lad says:

    If you need any players id love to be part of a team with this much heritage. Ex Stone Dominoes and Foley Centre Midfield player.

  44. thegroundhog says:

    Longton Lad,

    OK. Just choose your number!

  45. Paul Stanway (AKA Eastwood no 1 1993-1997) says:

    Amazed at the number of comments since my submission back in Feb. The club obviously carries many happy memories

    For Chris Plant…..
    I replaced Richard Johnson following his move to Newcastle but never actually played at Trentmill Road (except for the reserves several years before) and stayed with the club until the end moving on to Rocester and Norton.

    I certainly have fond memories of Chiefy particularly his infamous massages (hands like sandpaper!!) which certainly got you ready for the game. I played under Jimmy Wallace who unfortunately is no longer with us but he went on to achieve success with Kidsgrove following the demise of Eastwood which included most of the squad with the exception of yours truly!

    I still have my old keepers shirt, framed and hanging next to 2 x team photos, loads of programmes (home and away) and the video of the game versus Rushden & Diamonds so as you can tell my time at the club was very special.

    Will be very interested to see the club re-formed and would be happy to lend assistance but unfortunatley will have to keep the gloves in the drawer due to an expanding waistline and failing eye sight!!!!

    • jason robinson says:

      hi paul , i would love a copy of that game if possible, i played in the game when we beat rushden and diamonds and would love to watch it with my son.
      cheers jason robinson

      • Paul Stanway says:

        Hi Robo,

        Hope you are well?

        The game I have on DVD is the away game at Rushden the following year when we lost 1-0. If you played in that game I will be happy to get a copy to you.

        Ive still got the team photo hanging on my wall which your defeinately on!!

        Cheers

        Stanners

      • robbo says:

        email me a copy stanners.

      • Paul stanway says:

        Hi Jason
        Just seen your message. Sorry for delay. Not been on the site for a while.
        Send me an email to paulstanway1@hotmail.co.uk and I will try to get a copy to you.

        Cheers

        Stanners

  46. thegroundhog says:

    Paul,

    I’d love to see that video and the shirt! Can I start collecting your email addresses so I can arrange a meeting at the village Tavern? Anyone who is potentially interested in trying to resurrect Eastwood Hanley leave your details here or, if you prefer, here dnp1972@hotmail.com and when I have a sufficient number maybe we could meet up, swap some memorabilia, too.

    Thanks for keeping in touch.

  47. Tom Tremayne says:

    I’m a lifelong Newport County fanatic and I know all too well what it’s like for a club to go under. I just wanted to say that if it wasn’t for hard working and dedicated people like yourselves Newport County would never have reformed. I strongly believe that Eastwood Hanley have a chance at making a comeback and I look forwars to playing you in the FA Cup someday!

  48. Tom Tremayne says:

    and one other thing – about the video (Rushden & Diamonds) – is it possible to post that on the internet somehow? I’d love to see it. Maybe you could put it up on youtube or something. Funny to see that Rushden are mentioned sice County are playing them in the FA Trophy 1st round on December 13th.

    All the best and you have my support

  49. thegroundhog says:

    Tom,

    It’s great to hear from you! It’s nice to hear some feedback from fans living in other parts of the country. There would be so much support for Eastwood Hanley to reform; it’s just the actuality of getting it started that’s the problem.
    I remeber being saddened by the demise of Newport County, I remember shortly after they’d been relegated to the Conference losing 7-1 at home to Sutton, I think it was – I was gutted for them, especially as they were one of the first to drop out of the league in ages. I hope you get back in to the league.

    Thanks again for your comments – they mean a lot to me.

  50. Mike Matranga says:

    I’ve just stumbled on this website …..it certainly does bring memories back …I played for Jimmy and then Cliff Hodgkinson in the late 70′s before being shipped off to Brasil by my company in Jan ’81 ….Hiram ! what a character ….he stuggled with my family name and just simply referred to me as ‘Trang’ ! Great to see Chris Plants comments …….best wishes to you Chris.
    Had the good fortune of meeting up with Graham ( Cheify) Plant at Kidsgrove Ath. game last year ….my nephew Aiden Matranga is playing for them.
    I’m now living in US but get back to Stoke a couple of times a year .Ian ( Wheaton) drop me a line if you read this message at MatrangaM@aol.com ….I get down to Dallas a few times a year ….will be great to catch up ……Im in regular contact with Jenno back in Stoke .
    Steve ( Goldstraw ) ….let me know if I’m in any of those programs you have ….would buy one off you .

  51. Lee Wilshaw says:

    Hello,Excellent website.I am currently managing the Norfolk Inn who play in the city traders league,we play on one of the other pitches down Trentmill Road and i can confirm that Trent Tavern play on the old Eastwod Hanley pitch.Other local Sunday sides that play down Trentmill Road are Green Star,Rising Sun and both Village Tavern sides.We play on the fields on the left of the main entrance road,where as obviously Eastwood played on the right.I think the site is owned by a chap called Dave Mansell,i hope this info helps.

  52. thegroundhog says:

    Mike, thanks for dropping in – it’s excellent to hear your memories of E Hanley. Talking of programmes I actually picked up the programme of Eastwood Hanley’s last ever home game last year!
    Lee – thanks for the information – it is really useful. Have you got any contact details for Dave Mansell? I would like to contact him regarding the ground ownership. I have been meaning to find out a few details such as that for a while, in the first steps to bringing the club back.

    David

  53. Nick from Stafford says:

    I was a local referee in the late 80′s and early 90′s. I remmber many great memories of Eastwood Hanley, the changing rooms, the great fans who had a great knowledge of football, not so much the offside law. The sad moment came when I was referring next to Eastwood where Hanford played in the staafs enior league and there was a biggere crowd at Hanford than Eastwood, where I think they were in the North West Counties League. I went to have a look last year at the ground and it did bring a tear to my eyes. A great club with some great characters.

  54. steve wallace says:

    im very suprised to find this site- i think i have a photo of my dad (jimmy wallace) in training at eastwood somewhere, i will have to look for it

  55. Tom Tremayne says:

    I see from the photographs that there are goal posts on either side of the pitch. I was wondering is the pitch still in use?

  56. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Tom,
    Yes I believe it is still in use. Apparently Trent Tavern play on the old Eastwood pitch and on the adjacent pitches Village Tavern play.

    David

  57. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for leaving a comment. It would be excellent if you could dig up that photo of your dad.

    David

  58. Steve Goldstraw says:

    Hi David, long time no speak mate. The Sentinel has been covering the clean-up operation that is being carried out at Trentmill Road by local junior club Sandford Hill Allstars. They run 9 teams up to 15 years old and use the Trentmill Road ground. They have removed rubble and old metal posts etc from the pitch side perimeter and are now looking to get a 25 year lease on the ground from the local council / leaseholder with a view for using it as a base for youngsters from the local community that want to be involved in junior football. They will also ask for lottery funding to develop the ground on the basis of community use. Hats off to them for forward thinking. It would be interesting to hear their plans. This would be a great opportunity to resurrect the Eastwood name again in some way.
    What do you think?
    Steve

  59. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Steve,
    That’s absolutely brilliant news. Where can I find out more about this or read the existing articles? I would like to write a post on the developments and if I can help in any way I can. That’s a really great development and I hope they get their funding.

    David

  60. Steve Goldstraw says:

    David,
    The actual feature was in last night’s Sentinel, Thursday 3rd September. It can also be seen online on the Sentinel website too.
    Steve

  61. Steve Goldstraw says:

    David,
    Small acorns! I’ve had a phone call from a chap from the Sentinel. Apparently they want to talk to me about the history of Eastwood Hanley FC. I explained that I was a fan and could offer them some info for a feature. He’s calling me back tomorrow (Friday). Chris Plant (ex secretary) is a mine of information on Eastwood. It would be nice if he could be involved. Plus any others who have featured on this site, plenty of interesting stuff has been mentioned above by fans, ex players so if the interest is still there from these people, the more the merrier. Better pack away that Leek Town scarf mate!!
    I’ve just been digging out me Sentinel cuttings from the late 70′s early and early 80′s

  62. Steve Goldstraw says:

    Dear All,
    The Sentinel are running a small feature on Eastwood Hanley. It could be in as soon as tomorrow (Saturday 12th September). I have been interviewed about my experiences as a fan and the interest that is still out there in trying to resurrect our club. This could be the catalyst needed to bring together like minded people.
    It would be nice to hear everybody elses opinions and thoughts. David has done a brilliant job in running this blog which has now become a mini forum for EHFC. Do you think it is feasible to make the next move?
    Steve

  63. Dave says:

    What fantastic memories, this has brought back to me. My dad used to take me to watch Eastwood. My uncle Bob Bullock was on the club committee and he would always make sure I had a hot cup of tea at half time. We started going at the end of the 60′s when I was 8 or 9.

    I have always remembered Hiram. What a character. When Eastwood scored he would duck under the barrier behind the goal at the James and Tatton and hold his walking stick above his head and then he would bow down in one movement, bending at the waist.

    Someone who hasn’t been mentioned so far is another great goalkeeper (they has so many) Milija Aleksic (The Cat) who went on to play for Spurs in the old First Division. He also played for them in the 1981 FA Cup Final.

    I can remember the odd mineral train moving slowly passed on the embankment above the ground. It was such a shame that the vandals shut the ground down. It would be brilliant to see the club playng again on the same pitch.

  64. Steve Goldstraw says:

    You’re correct. Eastwood did have some great goalkeepers on their books over the years, Greg Lowndes, Bob Aston & Paul Stanway to name the ones I have seen in action. Sorry if I have forgotten anybody. Old Hiram once quoted on the team coach that we would reject a million pounds offer from Tottenham if they ever came in for Greg Lowndes!
    Great days and great memories

    • sophie lowndes says:

      Greg Lowndes is my Dad, i’ve heard more than a few stories about ‘the good old days’ playin for eastwood. was really nice to find the site. Never really believed the hype but i suppose il have to give him his dues now!!!!

  65. richdavale says:

    Have started a wiki page as I think Eastwood Hanley deserve one! Feel free to add bits n bobs to it! Some great memories on this page!

    Interesting to note Eastwood won the Staffs Senior Cup in 1986? Did anyone who has posted play in the final and who was it against?

  66. kev says:

    bring back eastwood hanley lets start an online petition on the groundhog how many out there want trentmill road rebuilt anybody out there wants to play semi proffesional football for eastwood hanley lets start the ball rolling NOW PEOPLE READ THIS NOW PEOPLE DO IT STADIUM REBUILD MONEY TIME EFFORT EASTWOOD HANLEY FC 2011 A CLUB REBORN

  67. thegroundhog says:

    Hi Kev,

    I completely agree with you. However, you might be better off starting a petition somewhere with a bit more visibility than my blog, like Facebook for instance. It would be great to see Eastwood Hanley resurrected. It would coincide perfectly with the regeneration earmarked for Hanley.
    There’s now a wiki page for Eastwood Hanley. Maybe we could do something there.

    • Steve Goldstraw says:

      Kev & Groundhog,
      All this sounds very positive, a Facebook page or wiki petition would be a good thing. Regarding Trentmill Road which was once a brilliant little ground. It was reported in Saturday’s Sentinel newspaper that the local junior team (Sandford Hill All Stars) have just had all of their equipment stolen from their lock up on the very same site, over £2000.00 worth. It’s such a great shame once again that mindless workshy morons have ruined enjoyment for so many people. It’s deja vu on what ruined Trentmill Road for Eastwood back in the 1980′s and is still rife in the area. I would just love to see Eastwood back up and running 100%, Trentmill Road restored as well but how could you get around this ongoing problem?
      Count me in though for the resurrection as I still dream of EHFC re-forming.

  68. Very interesting thread.
    Foundd it most frustrating that we did n`t get our act together (albeit in an England 2010 sort-of-a-way) in that FA Cup match in the early 90`s, but all credit to you lot. Your captain was immense that day, and the rest of the team were also solid.
    Have been back to the ground since – a classic site. Yes, sad to see it go, but perhaps the player in that day who lived life to the full (in the real sense) and the community of fans got more out of the game than those who worship the Premier League (???)
    Any chance of me making an article re Eastwood Hamley for the NVFC programme based on thes (+ any add`l) comments, please?

  69. thegroundhog says:

    Northwich Vics fan,

    Yes you are welcome to compile an article – let me know when you’ve done it as I’d be interested to see it.

  70. Steve. says:

    Enjoyed reading every single comment on this great site, i can remember watching Eastwood from an early age quite alot, because my best mates Uncle was the centre forward and scored lots of goals for Eastwood,(Phil Hulme) and i also made the journey to Nene Park to watch them play against Rushden & Diamonds.

    Would love to see Eastwood make a comeback and rival Newcastle Town, Leek, Kidsgrove etc….

  71. jason robinson says:

    hi i played and scored the winner against rushden and diamonds in the fa cup 1994/95 season. great feeling and i’ll never forget the look on both their players and fans faces at the final whistle.
    i was the youngest member of the squad and have some great memories from this team cheify jimmy wallace and john mayor pure quality!!
    jason robinson

  72. Alaine Challis says:

    Hi

    Interesting to read all your comments about the old Eastwood Ground. I run Sandford Hill Allstars Football Club and we took it over nearly two years ago. We’ve had quite a few clean ups going on and the plan is to restore the ground to its former glory with a clubhouse and floodlights etc. We have nine teams under 8′s through to under 16′s and we did last season let a sunday leaguae team share our senior pitch but unfortunately they didn’t have the same outlook as us and we spent more time cleaning up after them than anyone else.
    The pitches themselves are fine, we have the senior pitch where the stands are and we turned the other one into an intermediate pitch and a mini soccer pitch.
    We have been broken into once already and had all our equipment stolen and have had about another three attempts to break into our containers since then but I am not prepared to let them win. Football grounds are disappearing thick and fast in Stoke and we just want to give the boys or rather all boys an opportunity to play.
    We will be continuing to incorporate the Eastwood name with Sandford Hill Allstars so the ground will always be called Eastwood. Gil Gibbons is our groundsman who’s father was the orginal manager. I would be grateful if anyone has any old photographs of the ground in all its glory if they could let me have some to enable us to incorporate some of the old features into the new plans. If you would like to get in touch with me my e-mail address is a.challis55@btinternet.com or my deatils can be found on the FA website.

    Thanks Alaine

  73. thegroundhog says:

    It’s brilliant that you have the ambition to restore the ground to its former glory. How do you think it’s going to happen – are you any steps along the way?
    Were you aware of this forum – http://eastwoodhanley.freeforums.org/ where there are lots of like minded people who want to restore Eastwood Hanley. There’s certainly no shortage of people willing to help. Let me know if I can do anything.

    David

  74. Ian Seymour says:

    Hi everyone. I came across this site whilst researching for a book i’m writing about Curzon Ashton FC. We played you 12 times in the North West Counties 1st division between 84-85 through 86-87 in the NWCL and then in the NPL (87-88 to 89-90).
    I remember visiting the ground a few times (I probably went to all the games we played there to be honest), the people seemed warm and friendly but this wasn’t extended by the team, at least while the matches were in progress as you won 6 of of your first 8 games against us! In the 12meetings between the sides we only managed 3 wins and 2 draws.
    For the record your results against Curzon were:
    84-85 h w 1-0 a w 2-0
    85-86 h w 6-1 a d 2-2
    86-87 h w 2-0 a w 3-1
    87-88 h w 2-0 a d 1-1
    88-89 h d 1-1 a l 0-2
    89-90 h l 0-1 a l 0-2
    I was sorry to see you relegated as it was one of the better places to visit despite our lack of success over you. I always wondered why the club had disappeared. Good luck in your quest to rise again.

  75. Kareem says:

    Hello!
    This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds
    me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about
    this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  76. GC says:

    Hi all,
    In the last few years i’ve caught the bug of travelling to as many non league grounds as possible with my home town club, Nantwich Town. I collect pin badges of each ground i’ve been too (some places being more difficult than others, Like St. Ives in Cambs when they only had 2 in the ground, and the fans had them!). Its really exciting when you’re first starting out, as i’m sure you can agree with, Groundhog.

    The reason i’ve brought the pin badges up is, as I was looking for an Eastwood Town FC (Notts) pin badge on the internet (as I went there last season and did’nt get one), I stumbled across Eastwood Hanley’s pin badge (name similarity) as Eastwood Town FC did’nt have their pin badge on this particular site. I saw Eastwood Hanley’s pin badge and assumed they were a club currently in the NWCL. Upon looking through this site I have now realised the sad reality of the club; which from what I have read sounds like the club was very loved and fairly successful.

    I was just wondering if anyone knows if the ground is still in a viewable state. I would love to pop up there on one of my days off and have a mooch round. Once I have been I can produly purchase the pin badge of this once sounding great club (if there is still any available, i’m sure there quite scarce!)

    GC

  77. Paul Wemyss says:

    hi
    My son plays at Eastwood on sundays they are called Sandhill Allstars under 11. We have a few lads n dads teams down there and are hoping to get more. We are also trying to get it back to its former glory what is was like all them years ago. We have a committee now and are trying to raise funds to start work down there. You are more than welcome to come have a look around one sunday morning.

    • thegroundhog says:

      Hi Paul,
      It’s brilliant to hear from you and I’m really pleased to hear of this committee. It has always been my dream to resurrect Eastwood Hanley, so to hear this is great. My lads are 11 and 9 – could we come down some Sunday to play Lads n Dads? Coincidentally I’ve been looking for a place to take them for some time. I could also have a look around.
      Thanks again for getting in touch and hope to hear from you soon.
      David

  78. Woody (Stephen Woodward) says:

    Just came across this article, great memories.

    I was told a few years ago that I was the youngest player to play for the Eastwood 1st team at 15-years old. Kev Roache was the manager then and picked me to play away at Bootle (I think) in what was the old Northern Premier League at that time. Bob Aston, Brian Finney, Andy Damjanovic, Dennis Roden, Mick Cartwright, etc all big local non league stars at that time.

    Best player in my time Micky Bates, outstanding very week and would be worth a small fortune this day & age.

    Played for their youth team under Eddie Wright, Reserves under Alan Kelly (first ever winners of the now Staffs Senior League & then Roachie, John Ridley & Jimmy Wallace.

    Most memorable game, we beat Northwich Vic’s in the FA Cup managed by Sammy Mcllroy (ex-Man Utd) at the time. Twiggy scored a header. Norman Whiteside was his physio too. Football Focus featured them travelling to us and filmed them arriving at the ground which was unreal at the time for the local lads to be part of.

    Spent close on 15-years at the club and have some great memories. Pretty much recognise all of the names who have written notes above, Wheato especially , top striker!

    Would be good to see a ‘resurrection’ one day and the old faces who represented what was the elite local team for many years meet up for a beer somewhere.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Email – woodyprivate1@yahoo.co.uk

    • Rob says:

      Hi,
      Great reading all the comments my lad plays on this site and as of April 2014 will be playing under the Eastwood Hanley fc name.

      • Woody (Stephen Woodward) says:

        That’s brilliant, what league is that in?

        These days I run Redgate Clayton with Chris Holmes (ex-Newcastle Town , Nantwich, Keeper)

      • thegroundhog says:

        That’s really good news. Do you know if there’s going to be any improvements to the ground?

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